Friday, December 4, 2015

The deep and the foamy

"As for foam, it is well known that it signifies luxury." - Roland Barthes, "Soap-Powders and Detergents," from Mythologies.

Monday, November 30, 2015

I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake / Hand-in-hand in the Beverly Center like man, not givin' a damn who sees me

I've been in London for almost two weeks now. I get lost easily but I've mastered layering and am rereading too many things - "The Politics of Translation" and Walt Whitman and bits of Camera Lucida and sort of wondering if I should reread Hamlet, just for the fuck of it, but then I remember that I'm in London and not very far from the Globe Theatre and I feel embarrassed. This morning I accidentally read a Sylvia Plath poem and the whole experience made me uncomfortable. This is my confession.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Shots: a series

Friday, September 4, 2015

"You know that feeling when your food comes to the table?"

I'm so pessimistic when it comes to white artists exploring black subjects but i-D did a surprisingly good job with this.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

R.I.P. Noah Davis

Blue Figure

In Watermelon Sugar

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Being a bit banal about it" - Acne Studios FW 2015

Jonny Johansson: "It's about football, Harris Tweed, jogging—things men like."

Me, basically: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Death aphorisms

I knew that unrequited death is as futile as unrequited love. You must take hold, I told myself. You are suffering the long-term effects of a profound fatigue. This is the result of all the work, the years of work required to be wholly normal and wholly exceptional. You must set an example for other Negroland girls who suffer the same way.  

You must give them a death they can live up to.
Whatever plans I had for September 8th have been scrapped: I am buying Margo Jefferson's forthcoming book Negroland: A Memoir the minute it comes out. You can read an excerpt here and pre-order it here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Monday, August 10, 2015

In season, August

I haven't been great at taking care of my self lately, food-wise. I've been lazy and it's been hot, so I've been eating lots of Dinette sandwiches and cheeseburgers (what's new) and potato salads from the Armenian market that I add avocado, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar to. I'm on the brink of getting scurvy though so I'm going to the farmer's market in Barnsdall Park as soon as it opens today. What's in season in Southern California this month:

Beans, Green
Chili Pepper
  Valencia Oranges      
Onion, dry
Onion, Green
Passion Fruit
Pears, Asian
Peas, Black-eyed
Squash, Summer
Squash, Winter

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

John Ashbury, "And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name"

You can’t say it that way any more.   
Bothered about beauty you have to   
Come out into the open, into a clearing,
And rest. Certainly whatever funny happens to you
Is OK. To demand more than this would be strange
Of you, you who have so many lovers,   
People who look up to you and are willing   
To do things for you, but you think
It’s not right, that if they really knew you . . .
So much for self-analysis. Now,
About what to put in your poem-painting:   
Flowers are always nice, particularly delphinium.   
Names of boys you once knew and their sleds,   
Skyrockets are good—do they still exist?
There are a lot of other things of the same quality   
As those I’ve mentioned. Now one must
Find a few important words, and a lot of low-keyed,
Dull-sounding ones. She approached me
About buying her desk. Suddenly the street was   
Bananas and the clangor of Japanese instruments.   
Humdrum testaments were scattered around. His head
Locked into mine. We were a seesaw. Something   
Ought to be written about how this affects   
You when you write poetry:
The extreme austerity of an almost empty mind
Colliding with the lush, Rousseau-like foliage of its desire to communicate   
Something between breaths, if only for the sake   
Of others and their desire to understand you and desert you
For other centers of communication, so that understanding
May begin, and in doing so be undone.

(I haven't posted a poem here in a long time)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Theodor Adorno, "Bibliographical Musings"

"Altogether, we are forced to acknowledge that books are ashamed of still being books and not cartoons or neon-lighted display windows, that they want to erase the traces of craftsmanship in their production in the hope of not looking anachronistic, of keeping up with an age which they secretly fear no longer has time for them."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Shots: a series

Shirley Jaffe

The Door (2002)

Untitled (1985)


Untitled (1993)

Untitled #17

Horizontal Black (2015)

Monday, July 13, 2015


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bitch it might be

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Everyone is polite, but I'm always suspicious.

A confession: for years I avoided and even derided Keith Haring's work because of, I don't know, a Swatch collaboration? Because of a photo of him hanging out with Andy Warhol? It was foolish, to say the least, but what are young people if not foolish? Anyway, the Keith Haring Foundation has scanned all of his journals from 1971-1989 and have been steadily making them public. I have a soft spot for journals - Susan Sontag's and Leonard Michaels' are among some of my favorites. As someone who has had a journal since the age of six and is at times embarrassed by this, I have always felt comforted learning that someone else has kept one.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Albums and album covers I've been thinking about lately

(my essence)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Where am I going? What am I doing?

"Take French lessons, go swimming a lot, buy Langston Hughes books, get high, hire a girl once a week to take care of your clothes (sew, clean, organize closets) find a psychiatrist, a Spanish baby sitter, take dancing, find shoemaker, write Hazel Scott, find yellow pills, buy books [a photographer friend] told me about—stop abusing Andrew (think of surprises for him)."

A  beautiful, painful documentary about Nina Simone was just released on Netflix. Get a bottle of wine and watch it tonight.

The above quote is taken from her diaries.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Six years

Scooping and ladling

Richard Neutra's first commission in the United States - the Jardinette Apartments at 5128 Marathon Street in Los Angeles, built in 1928. Photo source.

Adams and Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA



Sunday, June 7, 2015

One of the best Geminis to ever do it

Happy birthday, AI.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Shots: a series

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The three of them and that pack of wolves and that shrub

Surveying these dynamics, one might wonder if women can opt out of the couple, perhaps through an exploration of promiscuous affairs. This option may not go far enough. Do not mistake polyamory for a post-couple paradigm. Polyamory is a multiplication of the logic of the couple, not its destruction. Casual sex, primary partners, physical and emotional availability, and other such distinctions contain amorous relations within the negotiation of the couple. Polyamory opens up couple-like formations without the formal commitment of the couple, expanding its territoriality and octopus-like tentacles that suck desire into the logic of the couple. Polyamorous or promiscuous relationships function as strategies for women to navigate patriarchal social relations rather than break with or negate them.

The logic of the couple penetrates queer relationships as well as straight ones. Homonormativity and gay assimilation have fashioned queer relationships in the shape of straight coupledom. Rather than a subversion of heterosexual social relations, assimilationist, liberal homosexuals have fought for the right to fit into the logic of the couple — to get married, to wear a wedding dress, to create familial nuclei able to protect property relations. Homosexuals perpetuate heterosexual norms and phallocracy through categorizations and role-play, which further codify desires and constitute sex within the logic of phallic centrality and authority. Same sex couples do not escape either the territoriality imposed on desire or the couple’s re-inforcement and faithfulness to repressive social relations.

Dismantling the logic of the couple does not indicate distaste for love, but rather a critique of directing love towards a specific object. One must contextualize the couple-form within patriarchy, as so-called “love” arrives to us through the apparatus of gender. Denouncing the couple does not mean shunning giddiness, love letters written in tiny cursive with quill pens, or the feeling of the sidewalk being a trampoline. Rather, critiquing the couple involves an analysis of the way that patriarchy has recuperated women’s desire for solidarity, for intimacy, for excitement, for negation, for the event into a consolidation of phallic power and the accumulation of capital.
Sick in bed reading LIES volume one (will there ever be a volume two?) for the first time since it came out and thinking about it and Shulamith Firestone and Silvia Federici and my own relationship. I rarely ever talk about it - relationships are fucking boring and talking about relationships is fucking boring - but I have been privately wondering about the alternatives within the (zzzzz) two people-opposite sex relationship structure that do not end up stepping into, however brief, that dark, historical alleyway of oppression and a centering and mirroring of capitalist production or whatever. Is there a way? I try to make a way, but it's not perfect. Clémence X. Clementine's essay, "Against Couple-Form" proposes something else: the abolition of the couple altogether.
Blast open the contents of the lover: I didn’t want to kiss you per se. I wanted everything that you were an entrance into: the smell of cigars, the doors of the city opening to me, samosas, your aunt’s house in the countryside, the sense that I could walk around with my eyes closed and nothing would injure me.
Buy/download LIES here.



For this summer and beyond the look is "goats from the Celebrity International package"

Only built for internet linx

  1. I’ve been giving lots of thought to the idea of radical leisure, doing nothing as praxis - time is, after all, a feminist issue - so hearing women like Hannah Black or Fran Lebowitz talking about how they’re really good at doing nothing is just like, ok, yeah, same, thank god.
  2. New York magazine ran a bunch of pieces on the burger, my second greatest love after leisure, and it made me resubscribe after six months away.
  3. I just started reading Reinventing Citizenship: Black Los Angeles, Korean Kawasaki, and Community Participation by Kazuyo Tsuchiya - a so far excellent book which studies the welfare activism amongst Los Angeles’ poor black communities during the 1960s and 70s and Kawasaki’s Korean community during the 70s, highlighting the role of transnational antiracism networks. It’s also nice to see someone acknowledge that the framework laid by black activists provided many a liberation movement with a jumping off point, something often vaguely nodded at but rarely explicitly stated. I also just started Women's Places: Architecture and Design, 1860-1960 edited by Brenda Martin and Penny Sparke which I'm also stoked for. I haven't been reading very much over this past month but it feels good to get back in the groove.
  4. "I’m home kind of fucking around. Listening to my own words. Redundancy. Peepee poopoo. Things are so fucking weird!” - excerpts from Guattari’s journals
  5. I posted this last month on his birthday but Stevie Wonder! On Sesame Street!I think about this opening everyday.
  6. "In Praise of the Department Store Restaurant."
  7. "I’ve been fascinated by the totalitarian way these writers say ‘brown' as an alternative for ‘POC' and 'Black.”' To me, the systematic use of this word is how their subconscious desire to erase blackness expresses itself within their language. What does this brown identity mean to a Black woman? I have personally no desire to be described or self-identify as brown. Brown is abstract, it doesn't feel inclusive and it is not. Brown is a euphemism. Why should I accept and bow down to an identity that doesn’t describe or acknowledge my reality? I am Black. Black is specific. Black centers me. All identities are performative but claiming “brown” would be like wearing a piece of cloth that was definitely not designed for me. And that piece of cloth would likely be a cloak of invisibility. It feels more like a trap than an identity to me but, I can see why Black people might find this identity desirable. It temporarily relieves you from the burden of blackness."
  8. lol
  9. Bald dudes are out here getting that “I just buzzed my head two days ago” stubble spray-painted on their heads and for some reason I’m here for it
  10. So who is coming with me to the Not Mom Summit this October?
  11. BONUS LINK: Emojineering!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shots: a series

Friday, May 15, 2015

I've been thinking about Brancusi

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Duke Ellington in an interview

"There’s a place in Chicago, the Southway Hotel, that’s got the best cinnamon rolls and the best filet mignon in the world. Then there’s Ivy Anderson’s chicken shack in Los Angeles, where they have hot biscuits with honey and very fine chicken-liver omelets. In New Orleans there’s gumbo filé. I like it so well that I always take a pail of it out with me when I leave. In New York I send over to the Turf Restaurant at Forty-ninth and Broadway a couple of times a week to get their broiled lamb chops. I guess I’m a little freakish with lamb chops. I prefer to eat them in the dressing room, where I have plenty of room and can really let myself go. In Washington, at Harrison’s, they have deviled crab and Virginia ham. They’re terrific things. On the Île-de-France, when we went to Europe, they had the best crêpes Suzette in the world, and it took a dozen at a time to satisfy me. The Café Royal, in the Hague, has the best hors d’oeuvres in the world—eighty-five different kinds, and it takes a long time to eat some of each. There’s a place in Paris that has the best octopus soup. And oh, my, the smorgasbord in Sweden! At Old Orchard Beach, Maine, I got the reputation of eating more hot dogs than any man in America. A Mrs. Wagner there makes a toasted bun that’s the best of its kind in America. She has a toasted bun, then a slice of onion, then a hamburger, then a tomato, then melted cheese, then another hamburger, then a slice of onion, more cheese, more tomato, and then the other side of the bun. Her hot dogs have two dogs to a bun. I ate thirty-two one night."

Via Lapham's Quarterly.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Richie Havens and his parents all looking the same age

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Grant Cornett for the New York Times

Monday, March 9, 2015

Make it with a mayonnaise jar

For International Women's Day yesterday I read Silvia Federici's Wages Against Housework and watched Hole and Ashanti videos with my friends. Why didn't anyone tell me that the video for "Foolish" is a direct Goodfellas copy???

Bonus: here's a dude really mad at Federici's Revolution at Point Zero -

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ellsworth Kelly and Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Left: Maryam Nassir Zadeh FW 2015

Right: Elsworth Kelly, Orange Relief with Green

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Reading Los Angeles in the original

This Third Los Angeles series has me revisiting classics and in the midst of my revisiting I discovered an edition of Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies that I need to own. Ahhhh and so this post has some sort of substance, here's "Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles," a 1972 BBC documentary:

Also! a wholly depressing illustration from Four Ecologies - a partial map of the Pacific Electric railroad line in 1920 (worth enlarging):

Maira Gall